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  MSNBC    The Daily Rundown    News/Business. The day's  
   top political stories. New.  

    December 26, 2012
    6:00 - 7:00am PST  

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>> president obama and congress are miles apart, but with the president cutting his vacation short, is there time for a resolution. the srkd term shuffle is getting complicated. >> chinese food for former president bush surrounded by family. still in a houston hospital after his health has taken a turn for the worst. good morning. it's wednesday, the day after christmas and this is "the daily rundown" and i'm luke russert for chuck todd. just more day in paradise for president obama while the rest of the family stays in hawaii. he will head back later this evening. he did take out with the first lady to express gratitude with service members on behalf of the
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nation. >> we know it's not easy, but what we also want you to know is you have the entire country behind you and all of us understand that we would be nowhere without the extraordinary service that you provide. i want to say thank you and we love you. >> kristen welker is live in honolulu. it's early in the morning there, but president obama traveling home to d.c. 10:00 p.m. hawaii time. there doesn't seem to be a lot of urgency rarg the fiscal cliff. are they geared up and ready to work on this? >> i think they are. they are hoping that the pressure to get something done will encourage everyone to come to the table to compromise. if you think about it, they have less than a week to get a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. not a lot of time. how did we get to this point?
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taking you back to last week, you remember john boehner tried to get that alternative bill through the house. his own bill. he didn't have the support to do it. it fell apart. now things are in the senate and it will be up to harry reid and mitch connell and the president to try to come to a compromise to avoid the tax hikes and spending cuts that go into effect on the first of the year. president obama had been working with house speaker john boehner and trying to get a big deal that dealt with tax reform and deficit reduction. that fell apart and talks have largely been stalled this entire time. there was a lost pressure to get something done. we have seen some of the impacts of the fiscal cliff. consumers saying they have been more cautious with their holiday spending because of the uncertainty in washington. economists warn it could get worse and the markets could be foiled if we go over the fiscal
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cliff. taxes will go up for the average american by about $2,000 and could put us back into a recession. >> which nobody wants to see. kristen welker in hawaii. the president is coming back, but they haven't gotten the 48 hour notice. they are very much out there in play. thank you very much for joining us. appreciate it. when the senate returns tomorrow morning, there will be a new emphasis on members taking a larger role in the fiscal cliff negotiations that based off the current offer may only have a smaller deal. a member of the budget committee and outspoken voice on the left side of the aisle. thanks for joining me. good morning. >> mire pleasure. >> we were saying a lack of urgency in washington to deal with the fiscal cliff and being a member of congress especially
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a respected member of the senate and what do you think is possible at this point on any type of a large scale deal. what do you see as the most likely scenario moving forward. >> i don't think it's a lack of urgency, but a great deal of concern that republican party failed to do anything. it seems that in the house, boehner has no control over his extreme right wing faction. i think the american people are very clear about what they want. what they want is to ask the wealthiest people in the country to pay their fair share of taxes. there was a poll out the other day, 70% of the american people think folks making over $250,000 a year should pay their fair share. they understand that one out of four corporations are paying nothing. the american people are very, very clear throughout this election and in polling as well.
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do not cut social security, medicare and medicaid. you have the situation with republicans saying hey, we don't think billionaires should pay a nickel more in taxes, but we think there should be cuts in programs impacting working families who are already hurting. that's the problem we have. >> let's talk about one of the programs, unemployment insurance. it seems that the administration believes that it is very much a catalyst for growth and has a stimulating effect. house republicans would probably never bring it up as a freestanding bill, but it's not part of some large scale or small scale agreement now. how much do you think unemployment will be part of a final deal. will it have to be part of a deal to get your support? >> absolutely. we are in the midst of this recession and real terms, almost 15% of our people are unemployed
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or underemployed. you take a look at that unemployment check for people who are looking at it, it will cause real suffering for families. it is an economic stimulus. you put money into the hands of working families who purchase goods and services. it is immoral to deny working families who are suffering from unemployment the help they need and bad economics. >> to get democratic support, any final deal must have unemployment insurance extended? >> absolutely, but the key issue here and the american people are catching on. the problem that we have is a right wing republican party in the house that is way, way, way out of touch with what the american people are thinking. to tell you the truth, i think probably the best course of action now is to see if we do a
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discharge petition in the house. we have all the democrats coming on board and get 15 or 20 republicans coming on saying you know what, the wealthiest people can pay a little bit more in taxes. if you do that, we can rapidly move to the solution to the situation. >> nancy pelosi tried to do that and the signature is not there. chuck hegel was a colleague of yours. are you surprised about the criticism he received from the left and the right being the possible nominee for president obama in the obama administration in the second term? >> hegel used on foreign policy, but he hasn't received a lot of criticism. how much of that is justified? i can't tell you. >> senator from vermont, we thank you for joining us the day after christmas. >> joining us to talk big picture and the president's second term cabinet, nbc editor
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mark murray was the december employee of the month. congratulations. >> excuse me. you heard from senator sanders saying the lack of urgency hasn't been a problem, but if you look at it for all intents and purposes, boehner removed himself from these discussions. harry reid, president obama, and a little bit of mitch mcconnell. what is possible of making a deal? >> the ball seems to be in mitch mcconnell's court. does he filibuster anything that harry reid ends up making with president obama? we have a paired down legislation extending for income below $250,000 and doing something with unemployment insurance that you were talking about? the question is a senate filibuster, democrats need 60 votes and republican votes, mcconnell ends up filibustering
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and will there be senators who support the legislation and blocking the filibuster. a lot of gymsmanship and republicans when you lock at the situation in the house and the inability to pass along the other things, they are on the verge of taking a lot of blame if they filibuster the legislation and the house doesn't act on it. >> and only democratic support developing here. how much is he going to agree with the president when he has the election in 2014? some folks don't want to appear in any way too close to president obama right now. >> let's move on in terms of massachusetts. we got the information that ted kennedy jr. will not run. scott brown doing well in all the polls. president obama will be fully engaminged in pass pass. how is that looking? they don't have a big horse to run. >> the polls show a good chance
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of scott brown being able to at least have the even money to win back a senate seat in massachusetts. when you talk to the democrats, they say look, the way that scott brown was able to win in 2010 were under very special circumstances. huh a democratic candidate who was not running a good campaign. the democrats were caught unaware and very surprised. you had that very tough debate on health care. you have the vacancy and democrats say you won't have all the situations at the end. they might be able to beat scott brown in a special contest. >> always tough. you think they can pull it off. lastly it was about chuck hegel, feeling it from the left and the right. the defense built up and every
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time he takes a twitter, he seems to take out chuck hegel. it was a process by which the president gets leaked out. >> two problems that are besetting chuck hegel. he is not the official nominee. there is not an official campaign structure to defend chuck hegel. he is taking it from all sides and twisting it in the left and the right and all people taking shots at him. the second problem is he's a man without a party. you end up hearing republicans who are not too fond of the fact that he supported barack obama in the presidential contest. chuck schumer on "meet the press" was noncommittal. he is a man without a structure and a man without a party. that's a very difficult place to be. >> the current gym of washington
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politics. >> thank you so much for joining us. appreciate it. the cliff gets closer and compromise gets further away. next, we are gaming out the option with two guys who are living and breathing this fight with me and the halls of congress. what this stalemate means for the rest of the to do list like immigration and gun control. we see snow the day after christmas. the president is scheduled to leave hawaii at 10:00 hawaii time. we have snow. the president is coming back to this. after being on the beautiful beaches of hawaii with the nice warm water. this is what happens when you don't have a budget deal.
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before the president left for his christmas break, he warned congress about self-inflicted wounds on a massive tax increase and economic calamity. what's going to give? with politico, role call from shark week, we appreciate it. we cover congress and we were there late, late into the night last week. almost the day after christmas. what ary is area nos we see? we have the possibility of president obama's proposal and the counteroffer. we go over the cliff. they are not all options. >> we can take one off the table and that's not going to happen.
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especially before the end of the year. the more likely scenario is the democrats and the senate push forward with this fall back plan, one which would extend the bush era tax cuts for those who make under $250 and include unemployment insurance and other measures that are about to expire and get it through the senate and they hope republicans will be forced to vote it and they won't filibuster it and put pressure on baner to approve it. that seems to be the most viable to get things done. if not, there is a stalemate and we are going-over the cliff. >> maybe ten republicans go to the house floor. you think a bill can pass in the house or could we have a late -- can we get to the night? >> it probably can, but it will
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take speaker boehner putting up with more dreemocratic votes th republicans. that has been something he is willing to do on the debt ceiling, maybe 150 republicans or so and the rest democrats, but he lost a lot of leverage and we might see a scenario where it's fewer republicans than that. whether he is willing to do that remains to be seen. this would be a big test, i'm not sure if there is anywhere else to go. >> they realize that boehner is this 120 members at least before they put anything on the floor and they don't want to look like they are hanning something to the democrats. that's a big player. the markets, we have seen fluctuation and it's turning downwards because there is a fear of going-over the cliff. there have been decent plays. do you think that's what it would take to jolt lawmakers to come together and do something?
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could you see us going-over the cliff and a few days after wards say we have to do something? >> just like t.a.r.p. in 08 when the house reject the first version and that sent the markets panicking and that led to a deal in the senate and forced the house into action. maybe there will be a scenario like that. to downgrade the credit rating and if there is no fiscal deal. say we get to a point by mid-january where there is no deal, there will be a lot of pressure to get something through to restabilize the country's finances to prevent another recession which is what they are warning there is no deal. >> added to that, all the tax measures to expire. everybody's taxes would go up. you won't feel that immediately with most of these things, but with unemployment insurance and others, you will. there will be a grass roots
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feeling among americans. if you look at the polls, republicans will get blamed. they themselves are wary of this. that's why democrats would politically feel inclined to go over the cliff. there will be so much on republicans, this might be the only way they agree to raise taxes. >> not to mention in the next senate too. 55 democrats and four seats in the house. >> quickly for both of you, we covered this today. i'm surprised by the lack of urgency. does that surprise you as well? >> this is not the debt ceiling. say we are working through the weekends and training mcconnell and biden on the phone and the president involved. really to take christmas off facing the fiscal cliff in a week shows how little optimism there is. >> i completely agree. we spent many late nights in the capital and is it doesn't seem like that is going to happen. >> amazing that they washed their hands of it.
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thank you so much for coming. check out shark week. the best drummer on capitol hill. next, president bush forced to spend christmas in the hospital. after suffering setbacks in his recovery, we will have the latest on his condition. new details about the christmas eve ambush of firefighters. what the gunman's final words were. today's trivia question, before bernie sanders, who was the last self-identified socialist to serve in congress? the first correct answer will get a file wednesday from us. [ male announcer ] how do you measure happiness?
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persistent cough, george hw bush couldn't be home for christmas this year so home came to him along with chinese food. from houston with the latest on the 41st president's health. neal bush came and barbara was there to have chinese food. he is still very much bedridden by this cough. >> he certainly is, luke. yesterday the former president spent all day in the hospital with family and friends. i will talk about that in a moment. the former president has been in the hospital from a persistent cough. late last week they said that the president suffered from low energy days. a few days of low grade fever. that is what prevented him from going home for christmas. christmas came to him. former first lady barbara bush along with their son, neal, and his family surrounded him and
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brought him chinese food. it's a bush family tradition to visit one of their favorite chinese restaurants on christmas and they brought in the food and the former president could not have any because of a dietary restriction. he is said to be resting comfortable and they are cautiously optimistic that they have the situation under control and the cough will go away. luke? >> charles from houston, thank you so much for the update. we appreciate it. next, a very old record broken in the house and the hawaii's governor honor governor inouye's last wish. what president obama can learn from one of our founding fathers about wheeling and dealing. you are watching "the daily rundown" only on msnbc. becausey wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price.
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national guard there for that wonderful occasion to get their picture taken opening up the markets. the market is opening slightly higher following president obama's announcement that he would cut his vacation short to deal with fiscal cliff negotiations. hoping that the real estate market would bolster the economy in 2013. we are learning that holiday sales this year were the weakest since 2008. they had a grim outlook for a fiscal cliff deal and the impact of the tragedy in newtown. on the radar this morning, chilling details in the christmas eve firefighter ambush. we could find out soon who will be saying aloha to the senate and a broken record in the house of representatives. new details out of webster, new york. william spangler set a car and house on fire and ambushed firefighters, opening fire on them as they arrive on the
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scene. police found a note he left behind saying he wanted to burn down the neighborhood and do what i like doing best, killing people. a convicted felon who spent 17 years in prison for killing his grandmother with a hammer was armed with three firearms including a bushmaster, the same gun used in the school massacre. he may have killed his sister and the home had human remains believed to be hers. >> police say spangler took his own life. governor neal abercrombie, democrats are urging a swift deployment so the replacement can on a deficit deal. of abercrombie's options, congresswoman colleen anabusha
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and senator inouye's dying wish is for her to take his place in the senate. it's hard to compete with that. on christmas day, ralph hall became the oldest person ever to serve in the u.s. house. paul beats the record set by north carolina rep who died in office in 1930 at the age of 89 years, seven months and 25 days. he gets his birthday on the house floor by speaker boehner because he has been there for so long. a neat thing to have. with the release of the movie lincoln, the guy on the $5 bill is all the rage, but we are going back a few years before lincoln for a look at one of america's found being fathers. the guy on the $2 bill that you don't see very much. we spoke about the third president, the original virginia
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wahoo. >> a look at the life of founding father thomas jefferson shows his towering political achievements may not have been possible without his ability to read the tea leaves. he understood a timeless truth that politics is slide scopic and constantly shifting and the morning's foe may well be the afternoon's friend. all seems well and good, but that's from the book thomas jefferson, the art of power. joining me now is the author of that book, john meachem. hello to you. >> thank you, mr. todd. pa. >> the thing about thomas jefferson of all the founding fathers and i'm curious if you discovered this. he was sometimes the least charismatic. he was somebody that liked the company of himself more than hanging out with everybody else. >> he was scholarly and
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philosophical. he understood the value of sociablity and he understand what it meant to the republic and getting his program through. to having people down in particular. every night in the congressional session, he would have a number of republican lawmakers on one night and a number of federalists the next night and make sure they could hear him talk about what he wanted done, believing and he was explicit about this, congress should be part of the conversation and they would be more likely to cooperate if they heard something directly from the president than if they read it somewhere. >> more so than any other founding father, jefferson takes the brunt of the -- of this country's inability to abolish slavery from the start. it's jefferson that takes this hit more than any of the others. >> to whom much is given, much
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is expected. he's the founder we talk about most and lived with most. that means we have to live with his vices as well as virtues. i think one of the reasons we continue to be fascinated by him is he represents the best of us and the worst of us. he articulated a promise that was unparalleled in the history of the world and led to the most formidable wall that the world has ever known. he because of his own economic convenience and political fears, he could not bring himself to dismantle the institution that made it possible. >> this is from a book review in the "new york times." in 1814 he wrote there is nothing i would not sacrifice to a practicable plan of abolishing every vestige. this was not true. he was not willing to sas fis his way of and he
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characteristically had the standard of practicablity. >> that was one of the reasons i wanted to do this. she a lot more like the people you spend your days covering and learning about than we often think. he is seen as this great figure in monticello. the author of the declaration of independence and the founder of the university of virginia. >> he doesn't care about being president or anything else. >> my argument is that's an act of misdirection. he knew that those things were going to be harder to argue against. equality and conscious and enlightenment. hard to get a caucus up against those. >> that was his legacy? >> oh, my god, of course he was. absolutely. that's to me what is the most interesting thing. the founders for them, the word
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fame meant representation and they thought that you and i would be sitting here talking about it. if the experiment survived, they knew they would be talked about forever. jeffer in politics for 40 years knew that everything he did in politics because politics is say 51-49 business, he didn't want 49% talking about what he didn't do right. >> why do you think it's been of all the founding fathers, jefferson is both political parties want to claim a party of jeffersonianism as to why they are democrat or republican. yet there is this lack of modern scholarly study of jefferson. look at john adams. that got more attention and more focus. but jefferson has been this -- is it that too many folks don't want to touch the slavery issue
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and touch sally hemmings? what do you make of it? >> the focus has largely been on the issues of race whether it's sale hemmings, as you say, or slavery. the failures to use these forms of political scales to pursue the course. as a young man he pursued. on four or five occasions in 1784, he tried to reform slavery. he lost decisively. we know two things politicians hate most are losing publicly and decisively. >> their personal rejections. linger longer with politicians than any other and they overreact to how they lost something early. >> you can say a politician is thin skinned is to be redundant. there was this wave of vendration after he and adams died on the same day.
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they used him in a run up to the civil war and lincoln used him to articulate the experience of the human equality saying the honor to jefferson. fdr needed him wonderfully. i love the story about washington. fdr was intent on getting the jefferson memorial built and dedicated in parts of the democrats to compete with the republicans and lincoln. the lincoln memorial. >> everything is political. >> it's all local and legacy and things change of course. >> and they don't. >> and they don't. >> john meachem, a wonderful book. something everybody should have performed and stuffed under the hanukkah bushes or christmas tree. >> it's nail biting time as the cliff gets closer and as one of the daily run down friends puts
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daily flash back was winston churchill. the first to address congress. less than three weeks after the pearl harbor attack. he was coordinating military strategy with president roosevelt to a packed senate chamber. he predictioned there were many disappointments and unpleasant surprises ahead and the allied forces would prevail.
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indeed he did. here's the irony by "the washington post." democrats are fighting to make permanent tax cuts that they once opposed nearly a decade ago. an msnbc contributor and top aide with the financial times. the "new york times" and thank you so much for joining us. happy holidays. thanks for being here the day after christmas. the art of the possible here doesn't seem to be a lot of urgency. the house is not even being called that. they are working on it tomorrow. what can you see done here in the next few days? >> if there is going to be anything achieved, we won't see any of it. it will be behind the scenes and phone calls and meetings we are only going to see something if
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there is a deal. it's a high hurdle. needs the cooperation in a cent republican leader mitch mcconnell and speaker john boehner to john boehner and bringing any deal to the floor that is not likely to get in the republican members and they count on it to assure that they won't filibuster the deal. >> it seems like after the boehner plan b went down, republicans are sort of this washing their hands of this and president obama is void by the confidence that if we go over the cliff, perhaps treasury can avert the worst things off the bad and republicans will get the political blame for it. that's why we are not moving so quickly? >> the goal is now for him to sort out a deal. they have both consummate deal makers. if anyone can do it, they can.
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i don't get the sense of urgency that they are going to take all the blame for this. we are probably going to get close to this and take wall street on january 1st to see a connection here. >> as i was reading this morning, going off the fiscal cliff was a bungee jump. we go over and the markets collapse. it's amazing that's what we have to get to. >> here's what we know. washington only reacts when there is a crisis. jackie is right. the staff is working behind the scenes to get something done. there is no question about it, the president and congressional democrats have the upper hand and speaker baner is weakened by this. he only wants the plan b vote. he was only 20 votes short. those were folks that from an ideological standpoint are against raising any taxes
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whatsoever. it's less than a week and a half or so, a more mod ralt congress and they hope that the new folks that are coming into the congress will be a little bit more moderate and the process maybe will put something over the top. >> you have seen the stories about the death of the tea party and they don't have it as important as they did. >> they are very vocal. >> they are important when you have a system of government in the house where you have to pass things. the majority itself. the majority of the majority. that was pretty much in effect when democrats controlled for 40 years as well. there were rare occasions. president clinton massed nafta, the free trade agreement in 1993. the majority of republican votes for it and democrats against it. it's only 20 votes, but that is the difference between boehner
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getting what he wants and not. if he loses, he can only lose fewer than that in january. he needs a bill that commands a lot of democratic support. >> people say it will be one of the most powerful people. it will be more powerful because she has the upper hand and she knows it. she will have to deal with it at least 75 to 100 votes. >> and again the marks sustain this idea of okay, this new more moderate congress coming in and these voices will be put down to a degree or will we see dire financial implications off the bat? >> the lesser because even if they managed to harsh out the small deal that president obama is putting forward, this is deficit increase that we are talking about. none of these cuts will be offset. all of the spending will have to be accounted for somehow. the stage is set for an ugly plan. >> only in america!
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trivia time. we ask before bernie sanders, who is the last self-identified socialist to serve in congress? the answer is victor berger who served in the late 1920s. if you got that correct, got blegod bless you. you should be in the university system somehow. we'll be right back. so, this board gives me rates for progressive direct and other car insurance companies? yes. but you're progressive, and they're them. yes. but they're here. yes. are you...? there? yes. no. are you them? i'm me. but those rates are for... them. so them are here. yes! you want to run through it again? no, i'm good. you got it? yes. rates for us and them -- now that's progressive. call or click today.
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from essentially blocking ambassador susan rice's nomination as secretary of state to making early waves of chuck hagel's possible nomination, some prominent senators are throwing the weight around in the cabinet shuffle. let's bring back our gaggle.
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thank you so much for being on the show once again. this is an interesting thing, robert. you're seeing this sort of nominees come out from the white house and they're just being eviscerated right off the bat without having a hearing. >> i have never seen a white house do this before. let the nominees quote/unquote, twist in the wind. this is the second time. chuck hagel has no friends on the left or the right because of the senate days and things he said as a united states senator. i don't think this is wise for any white house, regardless of republican or democrat to do this. because when you let someone hang out there and let them be defined by the other, it's not fair to their reputation and the nomination deserves a white house backing. >> it takes two here where you also have not seen a situation where the opposition party has gone after nominees -- well, they're not nominees.
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>> remember john tower? >> he was nominated when that fight took place. >> you're right. >> getting bork'd here? does congress have too much influence? >> that's a good yes. i don't know. they have a lot of influence. i think they're using it in not very constructive ways. in this case obama let susan rice go. he has to stand his ground with chuck hagel. he would look so weak. >> there's no political backing for chuck hagel any where. the congress has the right to assign and consent. it is not fun sometimes but that's how it works. >> what strikes me about hagel is no anticipation that this would happen. >> he said comments about gays and lesbians. he said some thing that is are out of the mainstream and now cleaning it up after the fact. well, one would think someone would have done his homework before he was nominated. >> support by tom freedman and
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others. real quickly, around the table for shameless plugs. >> happy new year, everybody. >> your shameless plug is 2013. anna? >> let's not forget about syria amid the fiscal cliff crazinesc. there's a great report today in "the washington post." >> i'll make a local plug for food and friends, food to shut-ins all year around and everybody in the audience, charities need help, not just at the holidays. >> absolutely. 110% behind you, especially that. hunger still a big, big issue in the d.c. region. we'll see you right back here tomorrow morning. i'll be back with you because chuck is resting that elbow. threw a lot of innings in 2012. coming up, chris jansing and company and 1:00 p.m. all luke all day on msnbc. take care. i love the holidays.
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